Tuesday, April 19, 2016

How I Save My Scraps....the method that saved my quilting life

For those who just happen upon this post... I started a series on Instagram this week. Left Overs - not just for dinner.... 

You can find me on Instagram @Pleasant.Home

I'll be sharing how I save, store, organize and use the Left Overs from my quilting projects! {and fabric scraps in general} mostly on IG with a few posts here, for a couple of weeks. 

First up! 
My scrap saving and organizing endeavors have evolved over the years.  I started by sorting into bins by color. {I even tried two different types of bins}. 

Work Station

The fabric scraps were a jumbled, wrinkly, crinkly mess. I had to dump the bins each time I wanted to use my scraps. Then I preceded to dig through them, trying to find the right color/shade and size.  

Blue Bin

I would finally give up and every few months I would list scrap bags in my Etsy Shop, or give to family and friends.  Some even ended up in the trash. {It felt so wasteful} It was time consuming too. {taking away precious sewing time} 

And then a few years ago a friend introduced me to a different scrap saving method that kinda changed my life. Not even joking. :) 

I'll show you how it works for me and then I would totally recommend you pop over to

my friend Lori Holt's blog and check out her post about this fabulous method for saving, storing, organizing and using your scraps and left overs. Lori's method seriously was a game changer for me.  I LOVE this method.... {link to Lori's post, at the bottom of this post} 

You saw in my post on IG yesterday this little yellow pail.  It sits at the back of my work table on the cutting section. When I am cutting fabric for a quilt. I throw the left over pieces into this pail. Mostly anything that is less than a fat 1/8". The larger pieces get folded back up and set aside to be put away later. 

Anything smaller than 1 1/2" gets tossed in the trash. {or you can save them for various uses like stuffing for sending packages, or dog beds, or leave them out for the birdies to use in their nests} 

When my little pail is full and overflowing, I grab my ipad, pick something to watch or listen to, and get to work. 

In the photo above you can see the left over pieces that were in the pail.  They've been dumped onto my ironing board, which is also part of my work table, and pressed. Not sorted or anything.  Just quickly pressed. 

And then I get to cutting. I cut these left overs into usable pieces. 

Lori has found that cutting her left overs into the following sizes, works really well for her.  I adopted the same sizes and give it a thumbs up! 

1 1/2" strips and squares
2 1/2" strips and squares
3 1/2" strips and squares

I DO NOT spend a lot of time measuring and deciding what size to cut my left overs.  I grab a piece, lay my ruler over it and pretty much eye ball what size it can be cut to, with the least amount of waste.  I figure - even if I cut in error and have a little too much going into the trash pail, it's better than how I was saving and using my scraps before! 

Here are some of the trimmings from a 'cutting into usable pieces' session! 

And here are the fruits of my labors. Strips and squares {and some smaller strips waiting to be cut into squares}.  And some triangles that need to be used as leaders and enders ending with a life as a Half Square Triangle. 

It does my heart good to see all this fabric that will actually be used in some form or another! So little waste! And no more time wasted digging thru scrap bins.  Win. Win. 

I USE these left overs ALL the time.... In the next couple of weeks I'll be posting on Instagram and here at Pleasant Home; how I organize these usable pieces, and also, projects with really good tips and tricks.  Seriously the possibilities are endless! 

Tomorrow I'll be sharing on Instagram, how I organize and store these usable pieces. Good stuff. :) 

You can find Lori's post here: 
 Lori Holt of Bee In My Bonnet

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Evolution of the Pleasant Home Polka Dot Pin Bowl

First let me apologize to all my readers in regards to old blog posts being published and showing up in your in-boxes.  I'm not sure what has been going on. Every time I've gone into my blog to make a change or check on something. An old post publishes.  It's rather frustrating and I'm sorry for the inconvenience.

So.... It has been a long time since I did a blog post! Life has been full this year.  Lots of good stuff and lots of normal boring stuff. Good stuff like a new grand baby that came into our family in November to snuggle and play with.  Normal stuff like having to replace appliances. {ugh}

But the most craziest thing that has happened in the last 6-8 months... Pleasant Home Polka Dot Magnetic Pin Bowls are back and flying out the door like crazy...

So...I thought it would be fun to do a little post on the evolution of my Pin Bowls. 

And for those of you who don't follow me on Instagram, you might be a little surprised to see that I'm making and selling them on a regular basis now. 

{P.S. if you haven't embraced the fabulousness of Instagram yet... I would highly recommend you dive in! You can find me at Pleasant.Home}

About 6 years or so ago.  My son came home with a 4" Stainless Steel Bowl that had a 2 1/2" Magnet on the bottom.  I'd never seen one.  I thought it was pretty cool.

I had been eyeing a certain Magnetic Pin dish at the fabric store, but wasn't super crazy about the looks of it.  I just loved the idea of having a magnetic dish to keep your pins in.

So I thought... Hey!  I could paint one of these stainless steel bowls!  And I did.

Then one day I thought.... Wouldn't it be fun to personalize these cute little bowls! And I did.

(Bowl from 2009 Not for Sale) 

These were some of the first bowls I painted.  Cherries, Sunflowers, Bees, and the like.

                   (Bowl from 2009 Not for Sale) 

And then one day I put all polka dots on one.  And I loved it. And thus began the craziness of Polka Dot Pin Bowls.

(Bowl from 2009 Not for Sale) 

I sold them primarily to friends and family and I listed a few in my Etsy Shop.  I hadn't perfected the painting process and it took a lot longer back then. Especially personalizing them.  So I didn't paint and sell them too often.

Fast forward to the fall of 2015.  A fellow IG'er published a post on their Instagram feed with one of my "vintage" Pin Bowls in the photo.

And what a wild ride I was in for!  We joke around that my Pin Bowls went viral. LOL

In the last 6 months I've gone from 300 followers on IG to over 3,000 followers. How fun that has been!

I have sold 100's of bowls. Which still boggles my mind.  And which I'm extremely grateful for. Being able to make and sell my Pin Bowls has been a big blessing to our family.

To all my customers... Please know how much I appreciate your business! There is some competition out there now and I am so thankful to those of you who want an original and continue to support Pleasant Home. And wait patiently for them to appear in my Etsy Shop.  And keep trying even when they jump out of your cart! LOL 

I have some fun plans for Pleasant Home Polka Dot Pin Bowls coming. I'm looking forward to the next six months and doing my best to adjust to working full time again. Because making and selling Pin Bowls and Ruler Pals has become a full time job for me.  Who woulda thunk! 

Oh! Ruler Pals... I didn't mention those... Another fun product that I've been making and selling too!  

Ruler Pals are so fun!  They coordinate with your Pin Bowls!  They are the perfect size for traveling and help to make your sewing space neat and tidy while at retreat!  

My husband made a couple for me years ago.  I love to have them sitting next to me on my cutting table to plop my rulers and templates in!  It keeps them from laying flat on the cutting table and getting in the way.  And they're perfect for storing rulers in on your shelf. 

OK all you cute peoples.  Thanks for following along on my sadly neglected blog! And I'm off to paint bowls and ruler pals... 

Happy Sewing !!!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Go Big ! Electric Fabric Cutter Blog Hop

Today it's my turn to share a project using the GO! Big Electric Cutter and the 10" Big Square Die, for the GO! Big Blog Hop...

{Full Disclosure:  Accuquilt sent me the GO! Big Electric Cutter and the 10" Big Square Die, along with some fabulous Downton Abbey Fabric from Andover Fabrics, for this project.} 


Here she is ready to GO! 

I grabbed this little stash of random fabrics that needed to be sorted and organized into my scrap stash.  

One of my goals for the year is to use what I have and finish up all my unfinished projects/works in progress!  {I think sewing with my scraps is my most favorite thing to sew....}

I decided to sew up some super scrappy blocks.  No rhyme or reason, just sew and keep sewing until I had a block a bit larger than 10" .  Each block is different and totally scrappy! 

I found some great scraps in my little stash of odds and ends that tied in perfectly with the Downton Abbey Fabrics! 

I try and keep a few baby quilts on hand. Seems like there are always baby's to give them to. And my baby quilt gift giving shelf was running a bit low on them. So I decided to make 12 - 10" blocks with a border for a scrappy baby quilt..

And this is where the cool part comes in! I used the GO! BIG 10" Square Die to trim my scrappy blocks!  

Once the blocks were a little bigger than 10". I layed them on the 10" Big Square Die and ran them through the Cutter.  

And Wah Lah! 

Perfect Scrappy 10" Squares!

It made sewing the 12 squares together, easy peasy! And I've never trimmed 12 squares that fast before! It. was. AWESOME. 

I added a little aqua flange around the scrappy part of the quilt and a 6" finished border. 

I used 2 1/2" squares from my scrappy odds and ends pile to make the binding. And I love it!

Another quilt on the Baby Quilt Gift Shelf.... Did I mention I love sewing with my scraps?! And using the GO! BIG cutter with the 10" Big Square Die was so cool... I'll totally be doing this again!  In fact, I have a table runner in the works, I'll share with you soon!  
[Using the same technique!}

I was pretty impressed with the new electric version of the GO! Big Cutter.... 

This is what AccuQuilt has to say bout their newest cutter: 

The GO! Big is AccuQuilt’s fastest cutter giving you the ability to cut two 6” wide dies side by side at the same time.  

It is safe and easy to use. 

It maximizes efficiency and alleviates hand and arm strain.  

All GO! Dies can be used in the GO! Big, plus there are 5 NEW GO! BIG dies that are used exclusively with the GO! Big. 

The larger die boards allow you to cut a 12 ½” finished block with just one die.

If you're interested in the cutter or die... You can find them at these links... 

And If you'd like to follow along with the rest of the participants of the GO! BIG Blog Hop... here is the schedule...

Monday Feb. 23rd: Bea Lee - http://www.beaquilter.com/ - GO! Big Snails Trail – 12” Finished
Tuesday Feb. 24th – Haley Pierson Cox – The Zen of Making - http://www.thezenofmaking.com/ - GO! Big Circle – 4”, 6”, 7”, 8”
Wednesday Feb. 25th – Lee Monroe - http://www.maychappell.com/ - GO! Big Double Wedding Ring – 12 ½” Finished
Thursday Feb. 26th – Angela Pingel – Cut To Pieces - http://cuttopieces.blogspot.com/ - GO! Big Churn Dash – 12” Finished
Friday Feb. 27th – Jodi Nelson – Pleasant Home - http://www.pleasant-home.com/ - GO! Big Square – 10” (9 ½” Finished)
Saturday Feb. 28th – Connie Campbell – Free Motion by the River - http://www.conniekresin.com/ - GO! Big Snails Trail – 12” Finished
Sunday March 1st – Sherri McConnell – A Quilting Life - http://www.aquiltinglife.com/ - GO! Big Churn Dash – 12” Finished
Monday March 2nd – Belinda Karls-Nace – Blue Ribbon Designs - http://blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com/ - GO! Big Square – 10” (9 ½” Finished)
Tuesday March 3rd - Karen Way – Sew Many Ways - http://sewmanyways.blogspot.com/ - GO! Big Double Wedding Ring – 12 ½” Finished
Wednesday March 4th – Elizabeth Evans – Simple Simon and Co. - http://www.simplesimonandco.com/ - GO! Big Churn Dash – 12” Finished

Happy Thursday!!! And Happy Sewing !!!


Friday, February 6, 2015

Valentine Candy Cane Lollipops!

This post comes from January 2010! There are tons of variations of this idea out in Blog Land. Just look on Pinterest and you'll see what I mean... But it's still a good one. And just in case you haven't seen them... well.... your welcome. LOL :) 
Hope everyone is having a GREAT week!  

Christmas is packed away. And I've got the bug to get my Valentines goodies out.

I noticed a few boxes of left over Candy Canes at the grocery store the other night, which reminded me of a post I did last year.

Said post just happens to be the No. 1 post of ALL TIME here at Pleasant Home. So I think it's worth sharing again.

{p.s. someone emailed and said they did not have these candy canes where they lived. There are many available on Amazon}

This post Originally posted on Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I had a few of these left over after Christmas.
So I turned them into these; {Easy Peasy!} Lay your Mini Candy Canes on wax paper in the shape of a heart and a Cookie Treat Stick midway into the heart shape.

Melt some White Chocolate or White Chocolate Chips or Wilton Holiday Candy Melts in a Zip Lock baggie (i used a quart size freezer bag, they're heavier) in the Micro-wave. (zap for about 1 minute, knead the bag, zap again, knead, zap, etc. until the chocolate is completely melted with no lumps). Let it cool for a couple minutes, then cut a small tip off the baggie and pipe into the center of the Candy Cane hearts, covering the stick. Sprinkle with your favorite Valentinesy Sprinkles.

Let cool. DO NOT stick them into the freezer or fridge to cool. Your Candy Canes will sweat. Sweating Candy Canes = a mess.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Free Pieced Heart Table Runner for Valentines - Tutorial -

This post is from January 2011... "Free Pieced" quilting was really in then. Not sure if it's still called that? Anywho... It's a fun little table runner and you could totally make different hearts in different sizes and get the similar results!  Happy Sewing !!! ooxx`jodi

Valentines Day is coming! In order to chase away the dark, dreary and wet days here in the Pacific Northwest. I'm sprucing up the home with some Valentine decorations. I was thinking it was time I tried Free Piecing some hearts for a Table Runner, using inspiration from the Free Pieced Pumpkin Table Runner I made a couple years ago. You can find it HERE, and HERE.

Free Pieced Heart Table Runner

Free Pieced Hearts are easy. Here's a little tutorial to help you along. {sorry about the rotten pics. Two words. Need SUN}

Step 1
Start with 2 red squares (these are 1 1/2") and 2 white squares (also 1 1/2")
Step 1

Step 2
Lay the white squares on top of the red squares, right sides together. Draw a diagonal line from one point to the other. Sew on this line.
Step 2

Step 3
Now trim away, leaving a 1/4" seam.
Press open
Step 3

Step 4
Sew together as shown
Here is the V of your heart
Step 4

Step 5
Add the middle your heart by sewing on a piece the same width as the V piece and however long you'd like your heart to be
Step 5

Step 6
Now let's add to the width of your heart. Sew a strip to each side of the middle of the heart, as shown.
Step 6

Step 7
Now for the trimming. This will be the general shape of the heart. I chose to trim this one long and skinny. Sort of like a primitive heart. You could make it shorter and chunkier just by how you trim it.
Step 7

Step 8
Now to add white around the heart to form a quilt block. Add a white piece to the top. The same width as the heart piece.
Step 8

Step 9
Now add the side pieces.
Step 9

Step 10
Press Open
Step 10

Step 11
Lay one of your quilting rulers on top of the heart piece. Try and trim it to a square. This one was almost 6 1/2" square. I trimmed the top pieces and now I know I need two smaller pieces on the bottom to form the square.
Step 11

Step 12
Here you can see I added the two bottom pieces and then trimmed the block to a 6 1/2" square.
Step 12

I added white to each 6 1/2" block to make this Table Runner right around 10" x 33" in overall size.
Free Pieced Heart Table Runner

Here are some close ups of the hearts. Hopefully you can see the seams enough to get a general idea of how I made the different shapes.
Free Pieced Heart

Every heart but the larger middle heart in the Table Runner, started with 1 1/2" squares to form the V.
Free Pieced Heart

I added two squares to either side of the V on this one, then the middle piece, then the bottom piece. Then I trimmed it to a heart shape. Notice I cut the corners of the top of either side of the heart on this one.
Free Pieced Heart

I left the corners on this one.
Free Pieced Heart

Tah Dah. Easy Free Pieced Hearts! Would be cute on Pot Holders, or framed too.
Free Pieced Heart Table Runner



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